Category Archives: air disasters

EDITORIAL: Drunken Russian Killers

EDITORIAL

Drunken Russian Killers

When a TU-134 jet went down in Petrozavodsk, Russia on June 20th this year, some people (the Russian government included) wanted to blame the aging plane itself.  Now, they own the poor plane an apology.

The 47 Russians who lost their lives on that flight were not killed by the plane, nor were they killed by any “evil” Chechen terrorist. They were killed by a fellow Russian, the navigator of the plane Aman Atayev.  He was drunk at the wheel.

So even if the passengers had been flying in a brand new Boeing aircraft made in America with the latest technology, they still would not have been safe.   Atayev’s mother says he turned to drinking as a result of his recent divorce, yet another omnipresent Russian social ill.  She says so as if he were somehow the innocent victim of that divorce, but in fact one Russian man murders his wife every forty minutes, so it’s quite likely he brutalized his wife emotionally or physically or both, and that’s why she left him.

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EDITORIAL: The Catastrophic Failure of Russian Aerospace

EDITORIAL

The Catastrophic Failure of Russian Aerospace

Russia’s aerospace program appears to be collapsing.

The latest series of horrifying incidents began in June with the crash of a TU-134 airliner while attempting to land near Petrozavodsk, killing all of its nearly four dozen passengers.  The government was forced to order the entire model out of service.

Days later, a MiG-29 fighter jet crashed inexplicably, and the government was left with no choice but to order that model out of service too, even though Russia had just inked a larger sale of the model to India.

Then, in an epic humiliation, when Russia rolled out its version of the F-22 Stealth Raptor during its annual international air show an engine collapsed during takeoff and the plane could not get airborn.

Next, a swarm of bees attacked a Moscow-bound Boeing 757, from the inside.

And most recently, an entire Russian ice hockey team was wiped out in a horrific crash  near the city of Yaroslavl on the Volga.

Meanwhile, objects even higher up began dropping out of the sky.

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EDITORIAL: Russia’s Very, Very Unfriendly Skies

EDITORIAL

Russia’s Very, Very Unfriendly Skies

A wise man never flies Russia's most unfriendly skies!

The month of June proved to be one of the worst and most humiliating in the history of Russian aviation. Unfriendly skies? Call them downright hostile!

First, a TU-134 airliner crashed while attempting to land near Petrozavodsk, killing all of its nearly four dozen passengers.  This model drops out of the sky with metronomic regularity, and Russia was soon ordering it out of service.  But this could only leave all intelligent people wondering:  Why did Russia wait so long?

It was only the beginning, though.

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EDITORIAL: What happened in the Skies above Smolensk

EDITORIAL

What happened in the Skies above Smolensk

The smirking Russophile rabble would like you to believe that when nearly 100 Polish citizens, including the country’s president, perished when their jet liner crashed at a military airfield outside the city of Smolensk, the Poles themselves were to blame.

You should tell that rabble to drop dead.

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EDITORIAL: Flying Russia’s Potemkin Skies

EDITORIAL

Flying Russia’s Potemkin Skies

At the Paris Air Show last week, Russia’s Sukhoi  aircraft manufacturing concern was able to secure only a pathetic total of three orders for its new “Superjet-100” model, upon which the company has pinned all its future hopes.  Looking below the surface, we see that the whole business was nothing but a pathetic charade, a classic Russian Potemkin village carried out to paper over the fact that there is, in the words of aeronautics experts “nothing new” about Russia’s plane.  In fact, there were no legitimate offers at all for the Russian crate.  Given Russia’s horrific record of air disasters, that’s hardly surprising.

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Annals of Russia’s Unfriendly Skies

The Moscow Times reports that Russians are no more eager to be pilots in Russia’s unfriendly skies than they are to be passengers:

With its neat rows of houses surrounded by lush greenery, the state-run Sasovo flight school is a bucolic place, graduating up to 300 pilots a year in Soviet times. Today, students occupy only two out of the six dormitory buildings, and the graduating class this spring will total about 40.

A growing shortage of pilots, one of the industry’s most pressing problems before the economic crisis, has been masked partially by falling passenger numbers. But aviation experts expect it to re=-emerge in full force.  The average age of a Russian pilot is 50, and 900 pilots are forced to quit every year after failing to pass strict medical tests, according to Federal Aviation Agency statistics. The government has launched a program that aims to churn out 1,000 new pilots nationwide every year, but even that measure will not fill the gap overnight. Meanwhile, the fallout of last year’s high jet fuel prices and the collapse of the AiRUnion coalition of airlines are still ricocheting through the industry, exasperating the situation both for pilots and those who hire them.

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EDITORIAL: Neo-Communist Russia

EDITORIAL

Neo-Communist Russia

The Moscow Times reported last week that salaries in Russia’s  far-Eastern Primorye region are currently averaging 9,700 rubles ($270) per month.  For a forty-hour work week, that means an hourly wage of $1.70.

The MT also reports that a round-trip plane ticket from Vladivostok in Primorye to Moscow currently costs $1,120.  That is four months wages.

The Kremlin is responding to this problem with a well-known Russian “solution” — communism. 

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